YouTube sensation

Nevada’s own Harry Reid has become a YouTube sensation for continually combining his gloomy disposition with rhetoric that makes even his most partisan supporters cringe.

His latest hilarious monologue came a few days ago on the Fox Business channel when, in trying to defend the exorbitant costs (and federal subsidies) of renewable power, he asserted that money is overrated in debating the country’s energy policy.

“Coal makes us sick. Oil makes us sick. It’s global warming. It’s ruining our country. It’s ruining our world,” Sen. Reid blurted out between pregnant pauses. “We’ve got to stop using fossil fuels.”

Yes, the resources that not only drive the world’s economy and rising standard of living, but make life and prosperity possible in his political base of Las Vegas, are “ruining our country” and “ruining our world.”

By Thursday afternoon, the video clip had close to 400,000 hits on YouTube. Like an “American Idol” reject who has no idea he can’t sing, Sen. Reid serves up speechification that crashes and burns in spectacular fashion. Doesn’t the Democratic Party have its own Simon Cowell, someone with enough common sense to cut off the Slipup from Searchlight before he finds all new ways to embarrass his home state?

Funny thing about coal and oil. Before they began transforming Americans’ everyday lives by providing electricity and transport that didn’t require a horse, average citizens trudged though life with mouths half-full of teeth, fortunate to live past age 40. Far from making us sick, they’ve powered advances that have extended the country’s collective life expectancy to about 80, helped eliminate hard-core poverty and made us the wealthiest nation in the history of the planet.

Today, coal still provides half the country’s electricity — power that allows Las Vegas air conditioners to run 24 hours per day during the soul-searing heat of July, power that lets partygoers enjoy the city’s luxuries at all times. And how did they — and the foodstuffs they ate for breakfast — get to this otherwise uninhabitable tourist outpost? They drove or flew here on a tank of fossil fuel.

Perhaps we should be grateful for Sen. Reid’s uninspiring words. If Congress ultimately gives up on sacrificing our economy and quality of life, Sen. Reid’s stumbling, mumbling policy pitches might be his lasting gift to this nation.

Then again, one only has to look up a different YouTube clip to see that any well-reasoned discourse escaping Sen. Reid’s lips is a miracle worthy of papal recognition. In an interview with Jan Helfeld, Sen. Reid first denies that America’s progressive tax structure transfers wealth from its most productive citizens to its least productive, then attempts to argue for several minutes that the federal income tax is voluntary. That clip already has about 175,000 Web hits.

“Our system is a voluntary system,” he says again and again.

Hoo hoo! Stop it, Sen. Reid. You’re killing us!

But do please tell us where we can pick up our Monopoly-game “Get out of Paying Taxes Free” cards.

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